'Poems are like sentences that have taken their clothes off.' Marlene Dumas' poetic and sensual refrain accompanies her figurative watercolours on view in Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life, the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) in the southern state of Kerala, India (12 December 2018–29 March 2019).Dumas' new series...
The paintings of Ellen Altfest are ethereal in their detail. Fields of minutiae come together as pulsating images; small brushstrokes of oil paint accumulate over a series of months to single out seemingly innocuous subjects, such as a hand resting atop patterned fabric (The Hand, 2011) or a deep green cactus reaching upwards from beneath a bed of...
On the rooftop of the former Rio Hotel complex in Colombo, it was hard to ignore the high-rise buildings, still under construction, blocking all but a sliver of what used to be an open view over Slave Island, once an island on Beira Lake that housed slaves in the 19th century, and now a downtown suburb. The hotel was set alight during the...
Wim Delvoye is an artist provocateur without taboo.
He is an alchemist who manipulates banal daily items to create a thermonuclear mix of ideas and opens new horizons of their meaning, forms and functions.
He is an ironic interpreter camouflaging gas cylinders for Delft tiles, transforming shovels and ironing boards into shields with emblems, converting as if by magic construction machines–cranes, dump trucks and concrete mixers, everything monumentally heavy–into airy feather-light structures with an interwoven ornament of high gothic, aerial and untouched by earthly life, artificially reproducing and displaying digestive tract processes, from the consumption of food to the evacuation of excrement, and tattooing pig skins as a mockery of the universal mania of senseless decorations.
Yet being an incorrigible romantic and dreamer, he does not create individual things but acts as the demiurge of his own planet Wim Delvoye, an analog of the magic country Walt Disney, which captured the prospective artist’s imagination in his childhood years.
Wim Delvoye worships the world of simple things and values. They are the source of his artistic works. He poeticises the potential of imagination, knowledge, knacks and scrupulous attention to detail characteristic of craftsmanship and, at the same time, seeks to add an esthetic meaning. Another source of his creative fantasies is obviously the charm of architecture, which surrounded him in his childhood and was actually learned at mother’s knee, gothic cathedral decorations, pointed multifaceted spires, elongated spiky silhouettes, crosses, stained glass roses and symbols of European royal dynasties.
Some works by Wim Delvoye have colossal dimensions (sometimes construction machines are reproduced full-size), but they do not look monolith heavy. The elusive combination of monumentality and zero gravity illustrates a highly architectural approach of the artist to the modeling of space of every individual object and the exhibition as a whole, either a gallery or a museum. He is equally good at design of printed products, books and catalogs.
The impeccable work, the engagement of top-notch craftsmen and the incorporation of folk craft traditions from all over the world alongside the use of advanced industrial technologies in the making of his objects are other characteristic features of W. Delvoye’s creation method.
Handmade carvings, which transform banal tires into a unique object, which becomes the centerpiece of any luxury interior, bronze sculptures polished to heavenly shine, carelessly scattered on a concrete floor, stun viewers with deformation geometry and multilayer connotations; laser-perforated intricate metal laces of high gothic, which the artist entwines into an airy object whose form and size precisely fit the real size of a construction truck.
The amazing creativity and architectural thoroughness of Wim Delvoye have been appreciated by the world’ leading museums, from the Paris Louvre, which held a retrospective show of his works in 2012, to many other museum projects, among them Guggenheim, Venice, Italy (2009); Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain (MAMAC), Nice, France (2010); Musée Rodin, Paris, France (2010); Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR), Brussels, Belgium (2010-2011); the Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart Tasmania, Australia (2012), etc.
At 53, Belgian artist Wim Delvoye continues to employ the shock factor with abandon. Moving between the sacred and the profane, inflections of gothic drama and high technology imbue the artist's drawings, sculptures, and installations. He frequently swings from fine art to the decorative, applying Belgian ornamental elements such as coats of arms...
Outside of the fairs this week, don't miss the exhibitions on view at Basel's tops museums and institutions, including Wolfgang Tillmans, Wim Delvoye, Jérôme Zonder, Yan Xing and Richard Serra, amongst others.
The Belgian artist Wim Delvoye is showing his inventive, innovative and occasionally controversial works in his first Swiss retrospective at the Museum Tinguely (14 June–1 January 2018). The exhibition, organised in collaboration with the Mudam, Luxembourg's museum of Modern art, highlights how, since the late 1980s, Delvoye has combined the...
On the eve of a major retrospective of his work at the Museum Tinguely, Basel, the Belgian artist Wim Delvoye talks to Apollo about merde-making machines, mass production, and the messy future of Europe.
'Art Brussels believes in galleries that support their artists throughout their evolution... We are definitely not interested in showing work in a supermarket-like style.' We speak with Anne Vierstraete, Managing Director of Art Brussels, as the fair nears its thirty-fifth edition.
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